Built environment associations with adiposity parameters among overweight and obese Hispanic youth

Stephanie Hsieh, Ann C. Klassen, Frank C. Curriero, Laura E. Caulfield, Lawrence J. Cheskin, Jaimie N. Davis, Michael I. Goran, Marc J. Weigensberg, Donna Spruijt-Metz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Objective: The purpose of this cross-sectional study was to establish neighborhood built environment correlates of adiposity as measured by dual X-ray absorptiometry. The utility and methodological gains of using this measure for built environment research were further investigated by comparing model fit across parallel models on body mass index z-scores and waist circumference. Methods: Pre-existing data collected from 2001 to 2011 on 576 overweight and obese Hispanic youth were compiled with built environment data, and 2000 census data for analyses conducted in 2012. Walking-distance buffers were built around participants' residential locations. Variables for park space, food access, walkability, and neighborhood socio-cultural aspects were entered into a multivariate regression model predicting percent body fat. Parallel models were built for body mass index z-score, and waist circumference. Results: Significant associations were found between percent body fat and supermarket access for boys, and percent body fat and increased park space and decreased neighborhood linguistic isolation for girls. Neighborhood socio-cultural characteristics accounted for more variance in obesity compared to body mass index z-score or waist circumference. Conclusion: Park access, food environment, and neighborhood socio-cultural characteristics are independent contributors to body fat in children, and the contribution of these risks differs by gender. There are incremental gains to using a more accurate measure of body fat in built environment obesity studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)406-412
Number of pages7
JournalPreventive Medicine Reports
StatePublished - Jun 1 2015


  • Adolescent
  • BMI
  • Built environment
  • Dual X-ray absorptiometry
  • Food environment
  • Hispanic
  • Neighborhoods
  • Obesity
  • Physical activity environment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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